Last year, buyers snapped up a record 54,024 homes in Denver!
So what, you might ask?
Here is another way to look at it: that is almost equal to all of the homes in Littleton and Boulder. When you think that the equivalent of two major cities along the Front Range traded hands in 2013, that is pretty impressive.
The number of sales jumped 16.7 percent from the 46,299 home sales in 2012, but the dollar volume rose by a whopping 28.5 percent. That is similar to the type of returns the stock market made last year, leading to headlines and water cooler chatter about how much money our 401(k)s rose last year.
By the numbers, a record $16.58 billion in homes sold last year. This not only eclipsed the $12.9 billion in 2012, but was $1.6 billion more than the previous record of $14.94 billion in total sales in 2005, in non-inflation adjusted dollars.
There was a lot of pent-up demand from consumers who wanted to buy their first home or move-up. One of the reasons that prices were so high is that consumers who were more confident with the economy and their own jobs had few homes to choose from last year.
At the end of December, there were only 7,706 homes to choose from. That marked the lowest inventory number for any December in history. Earlier in the year, there were so few homes on the market that bidding wars became an every day event. Homes in some hot neighborhoods were selling for tens of thousands of dollars more than the listing price.
For the sellers, of course, that was great. Especially since a few years earlier, during the Great Recession, no one was beating down their door to pay higher than the asking price. There were so many foreclosures and short sales available they were driving down the prices of homes that had equity.
Some people ended up on the losing end of a bidding war four, five or six times. No doubt some of those people were able to eventually find their dream home, while others took a breather from the frustrating and stressful time. Those in the latter category may very well be back in the market this year. And if the economy continues to pick up in 2014 as most economists and market watchers expect, there will be even more people who want to buy a home. However, if the economy does improve and unemployment continues to drop, it is all but certain that interest rates will rise.
That means if you are thinking at all to buy a home, don’t wait. Call me and let’s start looking for a home. The longer you wait, the chances are the more you will pay.